Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, Alaska
Tuesday, July 3, 1973
Not a whole lot to say about the day we arrived at my aunt May’s house, which was actually a duplex on Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage, Alaska. Which is now Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, the same way Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base just down the road from where I am now are Joint Base Lewis-McChord. JBEF, I guess, like JBLM. I wonder if they call it Jay-Beef?
Anyway, my uncle Lucien was a chaplain, a Methodist minister to be more precise, in the Air Force, and Alaska was one of many postings he had all over the U.S. and the world, including Germany, Korea, and the UK, during his career. As a matter of fact, their posting previous to the one in Alaska was at McChord. Visiting them was how I fell in love with this part of the world. I live less than five miles from where they lived, although the lovely old farmhouse with the horse pasture (and horses to go in it) they lived in is now a strip mall.
Only one of my three cousins was still living at home when we came to visit this time. My cousin Diedra is about three years older than I am, so she’d have been about a senior in high school at the time. The other two are older, and I don’t know if they were married by then, or off to college (not likely, since they’d have been home, so to speak, for the summer), or what. I’ve always liked my cousin Diedra, and while I think she probably wasn’t looking forward to having her younger cousin tag around after her for a couple of days, she was nice to me, anyway.
And then there was Gaiety, the Airedale terrier they’d brought back from a posting in England a few years previously. Gay was a gorgeous, very friendly, and very patient dog, and I enjoyed her company very much.
And that’s really about all that happened that day, which was mostly spent sitting around and chatting, since we hadn’t seen my aunt and uncle and cousin in four years.